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Black Rice Health Benefits

Black rice is cultivated in Asia and is considered to be heirloom rice. The rice is unprocessed and appears black in its raw state. After it is cooked, it changes in color to a deep purple. Black glutinous rice or sweet black rice is a type of black rice which is short grained and viscous when cooked. Studies show that black rice health benefits even exceed that of brown rice.
Here is some black rice nutrition info.

Black Rice Nutrition

Chinese black rice health benefits are many and wide ranging. The rice was earlier not available easily because only the Chinese nobles were allowed to eat it. It was therefore referred to as ‘forbidden rice’. The rice is grown mainly in the Philippines and Indonesia, but is today widely available across the world. The rice is popularly used in deserts such as puddings because of its sticky texture and nutty flavor. Here are some black rice nutrition facts. There are numerous black rice nutritional benefits. The rice contains many vital nutrients and consists of very little fat. A quarter cup serving of uncooked black rice has about 160 calories. One serving of black rice also contains approximately 34 carbohydrates. These carbohydrates serve as energy for the body and enable the nervous system to function properly. There is also fiber contained in black rice. A serving of the rice supplies about 2 gm of fiber. Black rice nutritional content also includes iron. Black rice nutrition data shows that you can obtain 4 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron from one serving of the rice. Iron ensures that the body receives adequate oxygen by promoting the proper production of red blood cells. These cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to the tissues of the body. Therefore black rice serves as a beneficial food for those with anemia. Anemia is a condition that arises due to iron deficiency and leads to symptoms such as tiredness and heart palpitations. A great deal of black rice nutritional value can be attributed to the antioxidants it contains. Antioxidants help to counter the damage effects of free radicals. Free radicals can affect the cells, tissues and organs of the body. Black rice contains anthocyanin antioxidants which also help to protect the body from heart disease and certain types of cancer. Black rice contains even more anthocyanins than blueberries.

Black Rice Calories

The health benefits of this rice are many, but how many calories are there in black rice? Those who follow a 2000 calorie diet can expect to obtain about 8 percent of calories from a quarter cup serving of uncooked black rice. The serving will also contain about 1.5 gm of fat. The recommended daily intake of fat should be approximately 20 to 35 percent of total calories. This equals to about 44 to 78 gm of fat, therefore consumption of black rice does not lead to a great increase. Cooked black rice calories are about 200 in one cup of the rice. Black rice calories are 52 from protein and 24 from carbohydrates in a single serving. This equals to 42 percent of recommended daily intake of protein and 2 percent of recommended daily intake of carbohydrates. Black rice calorie count from sugar is 24 calories and this is about 31.6 percent of recommended daily intake of sugar. Black rice should be incorporated into a balanced and healthy meal by combining it with some steamed vegetables such as carrots, beans or spinach. A serving of lean protein may also be included.

Black Rice for Weight Loss

Black rice is low in calorie content and made up of mostly of carbohydrates. Carbs often get a bad reputation and are held responsible for weight gain. However foods that are high in carbohydrate content actually contain fewer calories. Therefore the low calorie count of black rice helps in weight loss. After eating black rice, you are likely to feel much fuller because it is rich in fiber. Fiber adds bulk to the digestive system and hence leads to a satiating feeling. This will prevent overeating during meals and will also keep you full for longer periods of time. Black rice is also digested at a slower rate due to its fiber content and this means that the foods stays in the stomach for more time. This helps to reduce hunger pangs. 

Black Rice for Diabetics

Black rice contains low quantities of sugar and also contains beneficial plant compounds and fiber which are known to protect the body from diabetes and cancers. It does not trigger fluctuations in blood glucose levels that white rice tends to cause. Black rice also contains essential minerals which help to regulate blood pressure. Therefore diabetics stand to benefit considerably by including black rice in their diet.

Black Rice for Allergies

Studies have shown that black rice may help to alleviate the inflammation that occurs in allergies and other illnesses. The bran or outer husk of the rice may help to restrict the release of histamine. Histamine is responsible for the symptoms of allergies. Black rice also helps to soothe the irritation and swelling that occurs due to allergic contact dermatitis. Therefore black rice is an important food for those who suffer from any type of chronic inflammation. 

Black Rice for Skin Care:

The antioxidants contained in black rice helps to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Therefore black rice bran is also used in many skin care products. Antioxidants help to prevent premature ageing and promote good health of the hair and skin. Black rice should also be included in the diet for healthy skin.

Black Rice and Cancer:

Today black rice is considered to be an important food in fighting cancer. Studies indicate that the dark plant compounds contained in black rice help to protect the arteries and restrict DNA damage. This helps in preventing various types of cancer. However in order to be most effective, black rice should be part of an overall healthy and balanced diet.

Submitted on January 16, 2014